Orlando Magic: 3 takeaways from 2018-19 season opener

Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images
Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images /
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(Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Orlando Magic scraped out a win Wednesday night against the Miami Heat 104-101. Let’s look at three takeaways from opening night.

Well, that was a lot more nerve-racking than it needed to be.

After taking control of their 2018-19 season opener against the Miami Heat and opening up a 10-point lead late in the fourth, the Orlando Magic nearly squandered it all by making some mental errors and missing free throws late. However, partially due to the Heat’s poor shooting night, Orlando was able to eek out a three-point victory.

It didn’t look pretty early as the Magic fell behind 31-25 after the first quarter. Except for Aaron Gordon, the starting five came out with no energy and had no flow offensively. They also allowed for the Heat to score their first 12 points in the paint and just overall looked rusty. The only bright spot offensively was Nikola Vucevic, who had seven first quarter points, but it started ugly.

The only reason the Magic were down six at the end of the first frame was due to the bench doing work and this trend continued throughout the night. Jonathon Simmons showed up with 12 points, grabbing five boards and playing ferocious perimeter defense alongside Terrence Ross.

The bench spurred runs in the second and third quarters that allowed the Magic to take control and keep the Heat at bay until the final minutes.

There were some nice individual performances, with Gordon looking like the star Orlando needs him to be. He posted 26 points and 16 rebounds, going 4-of-5 from 3. Mohamed Bamba confirmed initial excitement with his play as well, going for 13 points and seven rebounds.

However, this was an all-around team win as six of the nine players Orlando rolled out scored in double figures. Bearing all that in mind, let’s take a closer look at three takeaways from Wednesday’s game.